True Christianity #729

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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729. Now, people who die as children and teenagers and do not reach the age at which they could come forward worthily to take the Holy Supper are made a part of heaven by the Lord through their baptism instead. The chapter on baptism has shown that baptism brings people into the Christian church and at the same time brings them into the company of Christians in the spiritual world [677-680]. In that world, the church and heaven are one. Therefore making these young ones a part of the church is also making them a part of heaven. Because they are raised under the Lord's supervision, they are regenerated more and more and become his children; they do not recognize anyone else as their parent.

As for children and teenagers who were born outside the Christian church, once they develop faith in the Lord, they are made part of the heaven that is designated for their religion, but they come there through a different means than baptism. They do not mix with people who are in the Christian heaven.

There is no such thing as a race of people anywhere on the entire planet who cannot be saved if they acknowledge God and live good lives. The Lord redeems all such people. We are all born spiritual by nature and therefore we all have a capacity for receiving the gift of redemption.

People who accept the Lord, that is, who have faith in him and do not practice evil in their lives, are called "children of God" and "those born of God" (John 1:12-13; 11:52). They are also called "children of the kingdom" (Matthew 13:38) and "heirs" (Matthew 19:29; 25:34). The Lord's disciples are also called "children" (John 13:33), and so are all the angels (Job 1:6; 2:1).

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.